Tartan of Clan Burns

Robert Burns @ Bauzon Cross

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

New Year's 2010 at the Auberge du Bez & Croix de Bauzon on Mount Tanargue in the Cévennes

Tartan of Clan Stevenson

Foie Gras & Gingerbread

Hors d'Œuvre

Salmon Roll
                  & Sorrel

Pas de Deux

Sorbet au
                  Citron or maybe à la Poire, as I've lost my notes

Rose Dance

Venison, Green
                  Beans & Tomates à la ProvençaleVenison, Green
                  Beans & Tomates à la Provençale

After Midnight

Graham Cracker

Cat Woman

Rose Dance Slideshow

Music & Song

Auld Lang Syne

Anonymous - Old
                Long Syne facsimile

“An excellent and proper New Ballad, Entituled, OLD LONG SYNE, Newly corrected and amended, with a large and new Edition of several excellent Love Lines. To be sung with its own proper Musical Sweet Tune.”
Robert Burns -
                Auld Lang Syne manuscript

“The original & by much the best set of the words of this song is as follows”
                Burns - Auld Lang Syne score

Notes, Translations & Illustrations

Should Old Acquaintance be forgot, / and never thought upon;

The flames of Love extinguished, / and fully past and gone:

Is thy sweet Heart now grown so cold, / that loving Breast of thine;

That thou canst never once reflect / on Old long syne.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,

And never brought to mind?

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,

And days o’ lang syne?


On 26 September 1878 another Scottish writer, Robert Lewis Stevenson, in the midst of a twelve-day walking tour, slept at the Trappist Cistercian abbey Our Lady of the Snows, six miles from Le Bez.

Snowman (left) built on 7 January 2006, about a month after the conception of Rose.

On Old long syne my Jo,

in Old long syne,

That thou canst never once reflect,

in Old long syne.

And for auld lang syne, my jo,

For auld lang syne,

We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,

For auld lang syne.

jo: dear

auld lang syne: bygone days

My Heart is ravisht with delight, / when thee I think upon;

All Grief and Sorrow takes the flight, / and speedily is gone;

The bright resemblance of thy Face, / so fills this, Heart of mine;

That Force nor Fate can me displease, / for Old long syne.

And surely ye’ll be your pint stowp!

And surely I’ll be mine!

And we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,

For auld lang syne.

pint stowp: schooner

I’ll be mine: I'll buy mine

Since you have rob’d me of my Heart; / It’s reason I have yours;

Which Madam Nature doth impart, / to your black Eyes and Browes:

With honour it doth not consist, / to hold thy Slave in pain:

Pray let thy rigour then resist, / for Old long syne.

We twa hae run about the braes,

And pou’d the gowans fine;

But we’ve wander’d mony a weary foot,

Sin auld lang syne.

Wolf's Bane

brae: slope, hillside

gowan: daisy, crowfoot, marigold, buttercup, dandelion

Wild wolf's bane (arnica montana of the daisy family) grows on Mount Lozère (left), twenty miles from Le Bez.

It is my freedom I do crave, / by depracating pain;

Since libertie ye will not give, / who glories in his Chain:

But yet I wish the gods to move / that noble Heart of thine;

To pitty since ye cannot love, / for Old long syne.

We twa hae paidl’d i’ the burn,

Frae mornin sun till dine;

But seas between us braid hae roar’d

Sin auld lang syne.

River Borne

burn: brook, stream; the poet's signature

The watershed that parts the Atlantic from the Mediterranean runs past the Auberge du Bez.

The river Borne (left) flows through Le Bez.

If ever I have a house my Dear, / that's truely called mine;

That can afford best Countrey chear, / or ought that's good therein:

Though thou wast Rebell to the King / and beat with Wind and Rain,

Assure thy self of welcome Love, / for Old long syne.

Anonymous (c. 1700), verses 1, chorus, 5 & 6 of part 1, verse 5 of part 2

And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere!

And gie’s a hand o’ thine!

And we’ll tak a right gude-willy waucht,

For auld lang syne.

Robert Burns (1788)

fiere: friend


gude-willy waucht: draught of good cheer

Burns has taken a clumsy spurned-lover's lament (of which exist various, and variously attributed, printed editions dating back to the sixteenth century), retaining the incipit, most of the refrain & chorus, the rhymes of thine, mine, & syne, the meter of the chorus, and the nostalgic mood, cutting the verse stanza in half (from ABABCDCD to ABCB [The rhythm of the inherited refrain {and of line 1 & the B rhymes of the chorus, of which it is a variation} is syncopated {slack syllable dropped in the second & third feet}, requiring a melisma {sung on the words auld & lang} or improvised lyrics {e.g. And days of auld lang syne, but Burns expressly eschews just that phrase in the refrain of verse 1, thus creating the long, drawn-out rhythm of the cadence leading up to the tonic, which Frank Stanley ignores at 0:34 of his generally sensitive interpretation <He also sings the anglicized variants dear for jo in line 1 of the chorus & friend for fiere in line 1 of verse 5, and normalizes the meter of line 1 of the chorus & line 3 of verse 5.>, by interpolating the syncopated syllable, represented in the text by an apostrophe, instead of a melisma on lang} to compensate in song.], the same iambic fourteen-foot quatrain used in Burns' Red Red Rose and by Coleridge ten years later in The Ancient Mariner), considerably foreshortening the whole poem, then added images of the natural phenomena of his native Scotland, and turned it into a libational hymn to brotherly love that shares the romantic (even kitsch) feeling of his contemporary Schiller's Ode to Joy, but more localized & intimate, and without the would-be universal Christian overtones of the latter. As Beethoven noted, a good poem may make a better song than a great, though he overstated the quality of Schiller's verse. Song is multimedia, necessitating compromise between the competing constraints of two disciplines, poetry & music.

Robert Louis
        Stevenson, Kidnapped (1886)

De: SAGReiss

Date: 28 juillet 2014

Objet: De Terribles Tenebres

Depuis mon adolescence, moi qui suis venu tard a la lecture, je lis la nuit, en somnolant, me reveillant les doigts entre les pages. C'est pour cela que quand Rose dit qu'on dormait dans le noir, elle se trompe, car je dors toujours la lumiere allumee. Il parait que Lenin faisait pareil, mais parce qu'il avait peur des flics, ce qui n'est pas mon cas. Kidnapped est un roman mediocre ecrit par un auteur ecossais de deuxieme ou troisieme rang, un espece de Jules Verne avec tout de meme plus d'imagination et de profondeur psychologique. Mais parfois l'inspiration a touche Robert Louis Stevenson, et il vous jete une phrase parfaite, une phrase qui vous reveille, une phrase qui vous dessaoule, un petit bijoux, une oeuvre d'art digne de Flaubert, une phrase qui vous ouvre les yeux a toute la beaute que l'homme est capable de creer:

As for hope, I had none; but only a darkness of despair and a sort of anger against all the world that made me long to sell my life as dear as I was able.

Robert Louis Stevenson, Kidnapped (1886)

Comme je doute que soixante-neuf magistrats francais ne soient capables de lire l'anglais, je vais faire l'effort de traduire pour vous, traduisant bien sur la beaute de la phrase, et non pas le sens, qui m'indiffere:

Quant a l'espoir, je n'en avais point; mais seulement de terribles tenebres et un espece de colere contre le monde entier qui me faisait languir de vendre ma vie aussi cher que je le puis.

Je ne pouvais pas utiliser le mot "desespoir", car mon ami Bob utilise un mot anglais et un mot latin. Il ne repete donc pas la racine, et j'avais besoin de l'alliteration ("terribles tenebres"). La seconde alliteration ("colere contre") marche tres bien en francais. La troisieme aussi ("vendre ma vie"), mais en anglais il aurait pu ecrire "sell my soul", sauf les connotations faustiennes de cette phrase. On a fait des torts graves a David, le narrateur, et il en concoit, dans cette phrase, mais pas generalement dans le livre, une haine universelle ("contre le monde entier") qui, a une echelle infiniment moins vaste, car Melville & Conrad sont des ecrivains du tout premier rang, font echo a Captain Ahab & Mr. Kurtz, ou en francais a Ubu Roi: "alors je tuerai tout le monde et m'en irai." Macbeth aussi veut tuer tout le monde, ou comme dit Kurtz: "Exterminate all the brutes!" J'admire cette demesure, meme si je ne veux tuer personne. J'ai aussi des appetits inassouvibles ("immortal longings"), mais j'ai quand meme reussi a resister a la tentation d'acheter une bouteille de Chartreuse verte que j'ai vue pour la premiere fois au Carrefour aujourd'hui. Je me contente de tout ecrire, la maladie de Henry James, ou de Marcel Proust en francais, deux auteurs que je n'aime pas specialement, mais pour des raisons strictement personnelles. Ces imbeciles qui me critiquent pour raconter ma vie sur le 'net ne comprennent rien. Est-ce que c'etait facile d'etre l'enfant de Henry Miller? Ce n'est facile d'etre l'enfant de personne. Je suis un vieux pere, de sante defaillante, au mieux capable de trainer en cette vallee de l'ombre de la mort encore quinze ans, et cela m'etonnerait. Il y en a surement parmi vous qui avez perdu vos parents. Que diriez-vous de retrouver un million de mots de votre pere, savoir tout ce qu'il a fait, tout ce qui lui est venu a l'esprit, tout ce qu'il a lu, et ce qu'il en pensait? Il n'y a pas de bons & de mauvais peres, car nous n'en avons jamais qu'un, donc on ne peut pas comparer. Je n'ai jamais denigre la mere de Rose a ma fille, et je ne la denigre pas sur mon site. Je l'immortalise, et elle est la premiere a le savoir. Bien sur qu'elle porte plainte, la ou elle peut. Moi aussi. Comme dit le dernier rapport au Juge des Enfants: "Il se battent a coup de decisions de Justice." Eloignez-vous de notre vie. Nous ne sommes pas de votre monde. Nous visons au-dela des nuages qui vous obscurcissent. Nous visons les etoiles, les dieux, les trous noirs. Si la phrase citee plus haut ne vous transporte pas, du moins dans sa version anglaise, c'est que vous n'avez pas d'ame.

The full metrical stucture (verse & chorus) may be represented thus:

A: u - / u - / u - / u -
B: u - / u - / u -
C: u - / u - / u - / u - (initial slack And in verses 2 & 5, But in verse 3)
B: u - / x - / x -       (refrain)

A: u - / x - / x - / u - (initial slack And)
B: u - / x - / x -
C: u - / u - / u - / u -
B: u - / x - / x -

where u is a slack syllable, - is a stressed syllable, x is a syncopated syllable & / is a foot break.

Aside from the word syne in the refrain & chorus (and jo in line 1 of the latter), the two-part version excerpted above left lacks the Scottish English & Gaelic language abundant in Burns' poem (as well as in previous versions of the ballad). The Scottish lexical items nearly all pertain to one of two semantic fields, the local drinking customs or natural environment, themes introduced by the nationalist & republican poet. Line 5 of the fifth & last verse of the second part of the anonymous poem obliquely reflects secessionist sentiment, but Burns' has not espoused it on this occasion. He managed (at least in part by avoiding England, notably spurning an appointment as a journalist in London) to escape the political repression that Schiller suffered in Württemberg for his writings. Both men were reputed to be Freemasons, another commonplace of romanticism, as was Beethoven. The name of Clorinda, the anonymous narrator's beloved, may derive from Tasso's Jerusalem Delivered, perhaps a political allegory or discrete allusion to current events unfolding in Scotland.

The song has undergone a couple of musical settings, at least one of which Burns knew ("The air is but mediocre.") & may have selected. The melody so well known today, virtually the same tune (dating back to at least the late seventeenth century, attesting various lyrics & transformations) as that of Burns' O Can Ye Labour Lea (aka "I fee'd a lad at Michaelmas"), owes some of its universal appeal to its use of the pentatonic major scale, far more common in the folksongs of the world than the diatonic scales favored in Western classical music from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries. The adagio tempo & languid tone of this version (verses 1, 5 & chorus) by Frank Stanley (1910, the year of his premature death from pleurisy) suits this somewhat inebriated melancholy so befitting of the old friendship that bears witness to the passage of time.

From: SAGReiss

Date: 7 January 2010

Subject: Oops

Um, that's (slack in feet TWO & THREE of the refrain & lines 1, 2 & 4 of the chorus) of course.

From: SAGReiss

Date: 7 January 2010

Subject: Fw: Games & Feet

Also, since the same problem occurs in three lines of the chorus, a thirteen-foot verse stanza would mean an eleven-foot chorus stanza, which doesn't make any sense. As I've parsed the meter, the whole poem is perfectly regular (excepting a few odd extra slack syllables, those I've already mentioned plus "o'" in line 4 of verse 1 & "a" in line 3 of verse 3), with a regularly recurring syncopated rhythm (and corresponding melisma) in every line (long or short, chorus or verse) containing the lyrical hook "auld lang syne".

From: SAGReiss

Date: 7 January 2010

Subject: Games & Feet

The package arrived today, thanks. Some of the books look good. The slippers will be good, if they might be a little too big right now. I'm not sure about the DVDs. I think maybe Americans dumb their kids down. Rose seems way beyond this. She sings Shnirele Perele. She plays the piano. She types in Word. She asked for a chess board, but I haven't found one yet. We play checkers instead. We play with the Boggle dice, our own little alphabet game. The undershirts are good. Why do you call them wife-beaters, by the way? I managed to wash an ink pen with the laundry, so some of my clothes now have blue polka dots, nothing of Rose's happily. I am opposed to games on principle, but am willing to play them with Rose, not something I wish to encourage, however. Marie's father is a stickler for the rules of the game, about which I couldn't give a fuck, nor Rose either, but I can see his point of view. One needs to learn constraints, but I'd rather Rose learn them in poetry & music, which she will soon, if I can arrange it with a piano teacher. Where the fuck is Pierre when I need him? Rose can learn to play chess and wear makeup on her face at her mother's. We haven't got time for that shit. My new metric diagram of Auld Lang Syne is subject to a little controversy. It would be much simpler to postulate a thirteen-foot stanza, but three arguments militate against this. 1: The music's melismas clearly indicate the syncopated syllables in exactly those spots (slack in feet three & four of the refrain & lines 1, 2 & 4 of the chorus). 2: The fourteen-foot stanza is a standard ballad format that the bard has gone out of his way to adopt. 3: Nothing but a fourteen-foot stanza can explain the refrain of verse 1. He could have gone either way on this one, interpolating the syncopated syllables: "And days of auld lang syne," or foreshortening the line to two feet: "For auld lang syne," both of which would seem to make more sense than what he's actually written. My friend Bob Burns instead upheld the syncopation & its coordinate melisma.

From: laurent

Date: 31 December 2009

Subject: Re: Il est beau, ta copine laurent

not sure which videos you are talking about. the one on the myspace page is Bella Ciao. The singer is Shira. Besides being a bullhorn singing diva, she is a cantor. On trumpet must be kyle, our freshly shaven version of the dude.


From: SAGReiss

Date: 30 December 2009

Subject: Il est beau, ta copine laurent

Murder had a head start. Why should the pretty boys get their dicks waxed more often than the rest of us? But I'm afraid Rose doesn't like Murder's Blackbird, and we tend to cater to her taste here in musical, esthetic, & culinary matters. So in desperation last night I convinced her to watch laurent's vid, and we spent the next hour marching around the playroom, while laurent marched (or, somewhat less charitably, staggered around onscreen, and imitating laurent's version of James Brown's knee dive. Divine, or poetic, justice rules. Anyway Rose had a few questions about the Atlanta Sedition Orchestra's tune. What's the name of the song? What's the name of the lady singing? What's the name of the man playing the trumpet? My notes taken while marching and fielding Rose's questions become somewhat less intelligible at this point, but what's up with the fishing pole, the duck, & the chocolate? I'm pretty sure my text is accurate. See what you can do, laurent. Your best has always been good enough in the past.

Saint Pierre
                  des Vans seen from Rose's playroom

Saint Pierre des Vans
seen from Rose's playroom

From: SAGReiss

Date: 27 December 2009

Subject: May the peace of Christ be with you

After fetching the Yule log this morning, we walked around town, but everything is closed in this season. I heard music coming from the church: "We can go in this shop, sweetheart. It's called a church. I think it's open on Sundays" Indeed a hand-painted sign on the door read: "Ouvert". I confiscated Rose's fish (crescent roll or croissant in the local vernacular), and we walked in. Rose strode up the center aisle to the front row of pews. I knelt beside her. The alert curate smiled, and gestured for us to be seated, as some old lady moved over, probably from the spot her butt's been burdening for years. We listened to the amplified sermoning, song, & music. Don't these people (at least the priests, of which there were four, unless the others were deacons or something) go to school to learn how to project their voices in a small, silent church? Anyway, as we got to the Eucharist Rose asked me about the liturgy, so I tried to answer. She wanted to eat one of the cookies, so I unthinkingly said she could, if we waited for everyone else to go first. She waited patiently and, when the curate greeted us, she asked for a cookie, and the son of a bitch said: "Tu ne peux pas." A wail of pained outrage rang out in the pews, as Rose howled & wept in righteous fury. I scooped her up, walked swiftly to the back of the church & out the door, muttering my belated answer to their Christian greetings: "Shalom, motherfuckers."

Reformed (& round) Protestant Church
of Les Vans (horses not included)

Reformed (&
                  round) Protestant Church of Les Vans (horses not

26 December 2009

SAGReiss: Rose. Here. In one hour. Freude. Joy.

Rose & Foie Gras, Ugly Duckling,
                  Chestnut Stuffing, Brussels Sprouts, Sweet Potatoes
                  & Yule Log

Rose & Foie Gras, Ugly Duckling, Chestnut Stuffing, Brussels Sprouts, Sweet Potatoes
& Yule Log

From: SAGReiss

Date: 26 December 2009

Subject: PreBurns Menu

I have set the PreBurns menu. I trust there will be no afterburn. I bought a duckling, which the butcher called a canette, which I would have called a caneton, using the diminutive suffix C the G once drunkenly insisted was not a diminutive ending, despite my examples of caneton & laideron, which has something to do with the Ugly Duckling. Her argument was, well stubbornness & violence, or at least the threat of it, under which I lived for almost a year. I've just checked the P'tit Bob. Apparently a canette is a female ugly duckling, while a caneton is a male ugly duckling, so -on is apparently a masculine diminutive suffix, although diminutives (both morphological & semantic) are usually neuter, as in Kind & Maedchen (or Maidel in Alsatian). Anyway, a fat little duckling of indeterminate sex, and I yielded to a powerful lust for chestnut & pork stuffing, Brussels spouts in honor of C the G's sweet ass, and sweet potatoes from Israel, which I love but can't convince Rose to eat despite (or because of) their beautiful orange color. For desert we have the Black Forest yule log, not ice cream cake, which is too cold for Rose, though she likes to order it, so I often eat ice cream when she is here. In the summer it's nice, fig ice cream, violet water ice cream, & of course (in Ardony) chestnut ice cream. We'll probably be eating the ugly duckling and chestnut stuffing on alternate days all week long.

Rose & Black Forest Yule Log

Rose & Black Forest Yule Log

From: SAGReiss

Date: 26 December 2009

Subject: The Shepherd's Reply to Paul

A number of phonetic & morphological phenomena make the French language (which is very guttural, contrary to what Paul & every other Frenchman in the world believe: "Bro, try counting the Rs in the back of your throat some time.") utterly unsuitable for verse, although it is good enough for prose, so long as you don't like to have a lot of words to choose from, as the vocabulary is minuscule. English is good enough for jazz. While English & German both carry the tonic accent on the root, or penultimate syllable, English slips comfortably into iambs, while German insists on trochees (something about two-syllable determiners). Think: "Deine Zauber binden wieder..." Trochees can be done in English, as I have translated those words: "Thine enchantment binds together/What the times have torn apart," but it sounds a little stilted, which befits Schiller's stilted German, as Beethoven should have known. English iambs are perfect for syncopated rhythms, jazz & rock 'n' roll (with the stress on the third beat of a four-beat measure, Satisfaction), as James Brown knew. German & Italian are perfect for classical music (with the stress on the first beat, Götterfunken). French is perfect for chatting at a sidewalk cafe, maybe for philosophical prose, since words are so scarce that the whole language has to compensate by becoming ever more abstract and insisting on overweening clarity of expression. There is no such thing as meter in French. There's no difference between blank verse & free verse. Rhyme IS meter. Sure, French poets count syllables to keep themselves busy, but they have no value, no alternance of stress & slack. It's fucking monotonous, like reading John Milton suddenly deprived of his genius. Just look at what the bastards have done to Auld Lang Syne. Horrible, horrible.


From: SAGReiss

Date: 25 December 2009

Subject: Ce n'est qu'un au revoir

Tonight I sang the first verse & chorus of Auld Lang Syne for Papi, and he reciprocated by singing the French chorus for me:

Ce n'est qu'un au revoir, mes frères,
Ce n'est qu'un au revoir.
Oui, nous nous reverrons, mes frères,
Ce n'est qu'un au revoir.

It ain't Robert Burns (French poetry & music basically sucks for empirical phonetic reasons, the oxytone accent, as the poet & philologist Paul Valery has pertinently observed), but I enjoyed this old man's song. I was stunned by what he ate at noon, while we chatted, a caillette of Ardony, a purple artichoke a la vinaigrette, a filet of unsalted cod (Perhaps that's called scrod in English.) with leaks in a bechamel sauce, and a creme caramel, most of which was of his making. I make nothing when Rose is not here. I eat bread. This eighty-five-year-old man is defeated. His thankless sons have undone him, sold him out, yet he refuses to die, or to forget. He doesn't give a shit what the gendarmes think of his opening an illegal speakeasy in his home, formerly his place of business, and his father's business before him. He remembers everything. Every car that passes he can tell you what the driver's grandmother did, including what maybe she oughtn't have done. He cannot see, nor hear, nor walk because of old age and a birth defect of his feet, but his mind works. He can remember. He is alive.

From: SAGReiss

Date: 25 December 2009

Subject: Return of Son of Merry Christmas

I forgot to mention what I like best about my commentary of Burns' song, that monstrous first sentence currently tipping the scales at over 235 words, with a nested, three-level parenthesis of more than 130 words. If one doesn't wish to read carefully, one had better not read my site.

From: SAGReiss

Date: 25 December 2009

Subject: Son of Merry Christmas

Turns out to be a merry Christmas after all. No, Rose isn't here, but we celebrated our Klezmer Christmas & Hanukkah on 10-13 December, and we'll celebrate our Robert Burns @ Bauzon Cross New Year's on 31 December through 2 January. What do Rose & I care for a symbolic date on a random Christian calendar? Not much. I put on the Santa Claus hat before going to see Papi, after laurent helped me solve what I hope is the last problem with Auld Lang Syne. Who knew that that good, but far from great, poem would cause me so much grief? It is the work of a skilled craftsman, as I guess we can all see now, so it does demand, and deserve, our closest attention. Anyway, Papi asked me to fetch him the newspaper from downtown, which I was happy to do, but the kiosk was closed, so I went to the Dardaillon, hoping maybe to steal their copy, but I asked permission & they said: "No." I met Laurent (um, not the bearded one with the lowercase l-, although I hope he has a huge brawl with his family & comes to see us in Ardony. I don't even know where he lives in France, although I think he went to school in Paris, which I could easily check, if it really interested me. Andouillettes, which laurent mentioned on Twitter, are a specialty of the South, and no one who has read her shopping lists can ever forget Mme de Sade's endlessly reiterated and so suggestive remark: "les andouilles qui sont si bonnes". Is there a hint of sensuality in those words or what? If you don't know what an andouille is, well, take a look at its shape. "Fort beau contresens" indeed.) and he said he was in the shit without a car, so I offered to drive him wherever he needed to go, since I have nothing to do but bloat your inboxes until Sunday morning at nine o'clock. We went & picked up some olive wood, very dry & good for kindling, so he could heat his new home, as he's moved to Chambonas, waxed nostalgic about Strasbourg, where he went to school & recently spent a few days with his grandchildren, who are the age of Rose, and found a newspaper for Papi, who didn't give me too much shit about the fact that it wasn't the same one he usually reads. He insisted on paying for it, but did try to lowball me on the price, the loveable old fuck.

From: SAGReiss

Date: 25 December 2009

Subject: (h)acol beseder

Oops, my mistake. Sometimes it is better to trust your mind than your lying eyes. I knew it had to be the tonic. I could hear it, but my dumbass eyes alighted on the next occurrence of the word "syne", which is indeed sung on G. OK, thanks. All is well. I hope Christmas dinner is good, andouillettes and all. I'm going to go have a drink with Papi. His ingrate sons are forcing him to close the bar, but they couldn't be bothered to come see him for Christmas, not even the one who lives in nearby Aubenas.

From: laurent

Date: 25 December 2009

Subject: Re: Murderous Cocktail

Huh? where is it sung on G?

From: SAGReiss

Date: 25 December 2009

Subject: Fw: Murderous Cocktail

OK, so it's the supertonic, but that still doesn't help me, for the supertonic is reputed to prepare the cadence, but here it is the fucking cadence. Why? What is going on here? Look at line 4 for God's sake. Burns is explicitly telling you: "Don't fuck up the rhythm of my song by singing the slack syllables: 'And days o' [of auld] lang syne.' Sing the fucking melisma."

From: SAGReiss

Date: 25 December 2009

Subject: Murderous Cocktail

OK, so let's take the example of Auld Lang Syne in pentatonic F major (and I'll give you that B-flat for the harmony because I'm easy that way). Now the word "syne" is sung on G, but in metrical & semantic terms this is most definitely the resolution, so I wanted to call it the tonic, but I think that would be F instead. So what is G, the dominant? I understand that tonic & dominant play somewhat less of a role in the pentatonic scales, but are those terms simply not relevant at all? I need to explain this because Burns is carefully arranging the rhythm of the refrain & B rhyme of the chorus to emphasize the resolution of "syne". What is this in musical terms?

From: laurent

Date: 24 December 2009

Subject: Re: Help!

the attached score has it in G pentatonic, sol la si re mi G A B D E

http://www.8notes.com/scores/1476.asp has it in f pentatonic

fa sol la do re F G A C D

the si bemol / b flat does not appear in the melody as it is the 4th degree of the f scale but it is in the harmony, the first phrase ends on a Bb chord. both bass and tenor sing a B bflat.


From: SAGReiss

Date: 24 December 2009

Subject: Help!

Attached: auld_lang_syne_score3.jpg

Here the bastard's got it in the key of F, but with a sharp on that very note.

From: SAGReiss

Date: 24 December 2009

Subject: Oops

Attached: auld_lang_syne_score.jpg

Can some one help me out with his musical expertise? I've got the popular contemporary version of Auld Lang Syne pegged in a pentatonic major scale, but while I was checking the score for the melisma, I noticed an odd flat in the attached version of the score I stole from somewhere. At first I thought it must just be an older version, so I sang the song while watching the notes move up and down, but it is indeed our version. What further baffles me is that this asshole has written a B-flat into the key signature, but there's no fucking B that I can see in the whole fucking song. Look, I may be woefully ignorant of all things musical, but I can count to five in a few languages & remember: "Every Good Boy Deserves a Fuck". Surely I am hopelessly confused about something that any of you who read & write (that is to say understand) music can easily disabuse me of. Is it me, or does this person have a problem writing clearly:

The major pentatonic scale can also be seen as all the pitches that are not present in the major scale: in C major, the remaining pitches are G flat, A flat, B flat, D flat, and E flat, the notes in the G flat major pentatonic scale. These notes are also the black keys on the piano keyboard. This scale is used for many popular pentatonic songs such as "Amazing Grace" and "Auld Lang Syne".


From: SAGReiss

Date: 23 December 2009

Subject: Re: Robert Burns @ Bauzon Cross

I am learning to write in HTML, which may considerably free up your inboxes. Nevertheless, I like to keep you informed of developments in esthetic theory. I am sharing my culture with Rose, now & for the future. The English, Occitan, Hebrew, Yiddish & Ladino languages are all part of her cultural heritage, which I will teach her. (And why not Scottish? My mother named me Scott twice, once at my birth, and once again when she told my daughter that was my name, which otherwise Rose would probably have understood as Gabriel. I thank her for that, twice.) Rose's mother & the French school system have 75% of her time to teach her French. I will take care of music, mathematics, and all of the other languages in my 25% of her time, until I can get a better deal. The 448 pixel images of the snowman, of whom I thought by accident, figure as placeholders. I will of course replace them with pics of Rose according to circumstances, in that or another size. Improvisation doesn't mean making shit up as you go along. It means preparing yourself in advance for whatever may happen, creating an artistic environment in which to incorporate unpredictable future events. It began yesterday morning with nothing but nighttime thoughts of Auld Lang Syne and the names of the places we are going. I will finish the framework before Rose arrives on Sunday, then all I'll have to do is insert whatever pictures we take on our trip.

From: SAGReiss

Date: 22 December 2009

Subject: Robert Burns @ Bauzon Cross

I have no idea what may become of this. Possibilities are rich. The poem is good, offering much in the way of illustrative images & musical interpretations.

I've ordered a Yule log for 27 December 2009 and a Three Kings' cake for 3 January 2010. We'll take our own pics of a cup o' kindness, pint-stowp & hand o' thine.